Freebie Friday: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Giveaway now closed…. Our winner on August 7 was WANDA!!!!!!

Thanks everyone for playing 😉

It’s Summer.  My favorite season!  In honor of Summer and all the movies recently that have come from books, I offer this weeks Freebie Friday as:

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Kidd Monk.

secret life of beesSet in South Carolina in 1964, this is the tale of Lily Owens a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother. To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father, Lily flees with Rosaleen, her caregiver and only friend, to a South Carolina town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by the intelligent and independent Boatwright sisters, Lily finds solace in their mesmerizing world of beekeeping.

I recently learned at a festival where they had bees displayed in hives working the honey like nobody’s “beesness” (lol) that a bee in their lifetime will only produce one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.   Not a typo.  That’s it.

So now knowing this…. here is how you can enter to win this great book! AND to sweeten the pot (LOL I am on a roll today!) I will add a jar of honey to this giveaway.

1.  Leave a comment here with an interesting insect fact or a comment about an insect incident you have had… (wow – say that fast….)

2.  Blog tweet or shout from the rooftop about this giveaway and leave link here in a separate comment (oh, if you go for the shout from the rooftop, that is going to require a picture!)

3.  For any comments you make during this week on any of my other posts (starting today thru next Friday) you will receive one extra chance to win per comment)  *You must have the original comment (#1) here first to qualify for this one.

US only entrants please and no po box numbers.  Be sure I have a way to contact you if you are the winner.


This giveaway will end Friday August 7.

Oh – Have fun!  😉

Morning Meandering

a big improvement

Looks like it will be a nice day out there today and that is sooooo good!  I have a family gathering at our home tomorrow and have many tasks to do prior to that event – indoor and outdoors.  🙂

looking-for-salvation-at-the-dairy-queenThis morning, after a late night of reading… I grabbed Coffee Cup and we set out on a casual stroll through the blogesphere.  My meandering this morning took me over to Bermudaonion’s Weblog where I read a wonderful review for the book, Looking For Salvation at The Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore .

I have heard of this book, but Kathy’s review is the first I have read on it.  This sounds like a fun read from a new author.  Quoting Kathy,

This is the wonderful debut novel of  Susan Gregg Gilmore.   (It’s hard for me to believe this is her first book!)  There is so much more to this book than appears on the surface.

Stop in today to Bermudaonions Weblog and read the full review and wander around her great blog while you are there, she has many  reviews  and can give you ideas on your next read….

Have a great day everyone!  I am off to many tasks and taking advantage of the first fully sunny day we have had this week!

Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Goyer (Review & Giveaway)

A delightful read about faith and about family, and about God’s Hands molding it all together into something beautiful.

Blog Tour
Blog Tour


The everyday push and pull of motherhood often leaves Tricia Goyer feeling, well, smooshed. Can you relate? In Blue Like Play Dough, Tricia shares her unlikely journey from rebellious, pregnant teen to busy wife and mom with big dreams of her own.

Sure her life is messy and beset with doubts. But God keep showing up in the most unlikely places – in a bowl of carrot soup, the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon, a woe-is-me teen drama, or play dough in the hands of a child…

Blue Like Play Dough flowed from the moment I opened the first page. With moments that caused me to laugh in acknowledgment,

“One day while praying about the hard stuff in life an image came to mind of a lump of play dough.  As I focused on it I realized the lump was not something my kids held in their hands, but that God held in His.  I was that lump.  God was molding me and he had something in mind.

The image was there and then it was gone.  Donald Miller had Blue Jazz.  I had play dough.  I tried not to be disappointed.”

TriciaaboutTricia writes with experience of what it is like to be a young mom trying to raise children to the best of her ability yet still having dreams of her own.  Tricia is honest about her short comings and openly shares the triumphs and the trials of struggling to do it all.

When Tricia writes in this book about letting go and relaxing a bit allowing time for herself and time for the kids to learn to just play and be together I think I felt my own soul relax a little.  Having two grown boys I still go through moments of the what if’s (what if I hadn’t worked so hard when they were younger, what if I had been at home more, what if…)

Tricia speaks openly about her short comings and her fear of being judged my others.  She like many of us, carries with her that need – that desire for acceptance and I love how throughout the book God continues to show up.  As Tricia says,

“The problem isn’t whether God will show up.  It’s all about me not being aware that He is already here… that He has been in my life all along.  And that he doesn’t care about my mess.”

Author Bio:

Tricia Goyer is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Generation NeXt Parenting and the GoGoButtonGold Medallion finalist Life Interrupted. Goyer writes for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family, speaks to women’s groups nationwide and has been a presenter at the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) national convention. She and her husband, John, live with their family in Montana.

Random House has generously sent me a copy of this book to be given away to one of my readers.  To enter:

1.  Leave a comment here with a book title of Tricia’s that you would enjoy reading (besides this one)  Tricia has 18 books out, on her website you can see the books under the books tab.

2.  Blog or tweet about this giveaway on a separate comment and receive another entry

3.  Go to Tricias website *Give one Get one Promo... tweet or blog about this and leave a comment link here and earn 3 extra entries

Tricia Goyer’s Website

*Tricia Goyers Give One Get One Promo

Purchase Blue Like Play Dough Here

Follow The Blog Tour Here

I received this review book and an extra book to give away compliments of Elizabeth at Random House

This book is a G Rating

Random Reading Challenge


Ugghhhh….  I caved.

I have been looking at this challenge and thinking I don’t need another challenge but it looks like such a fun challenge and how hard would it be to complete over the next year I mean after all it is only 12 random books and they are probably books I would be getting to anyway so is it isn’t really all that difficult, right?  Right?


So here is how this plays out:

August 1, 2009 – July 31, 2010

Are you stuck in a rut? Do you always find yourself reading from set lists or feeling committed to reading one book while another book screams at you from your TBR mountain? Has your reading become completely scheduled? If so, the Random Reading Challenge may be just the thing to put the spontaneity back into your reading.

For this challenge, readers will be choosing books randomly from their TBR stacks. You may select one of three levels of participation:

Level I

You are just a tad compulsive about your reading – you love your lists and schedules. Being spontaneous is not something that comes naturally to you. To complete the challenge, force yourself out of your rut and read just six books

Level II:

You really want to break away from all those lists, but you do still have a responsibility to your reading groups, other challenges and all those review books. Six books is too little, but twelve is too much. Stretch a little and read nine books for the challenge.

Level III:

Throw away the lists, don’t look at your schedule, bring on the joy that comes with the freedom to chose books randomly. Read twelve books for the challenge.

Rules (come on, you didn’t think I would be THAT random did you?!?!?):NO lists allowed.
Books for the challenge are chosen one at a time when the mood strikes.

  • Sign up at any time during the challenge period using Mr. Linky below. Please give me a direct link to your blog post about the challenge. If you do not have a blog, no worries. Simply enter your name and leave the URL box on Mr. Linky blank.
  • Book reviews are not required, but if you want to write a review I will be providing a review Mr. Linky after August 1st.
  • Books are selected one at a time using the following procedure:
    • Randomly select any number of books from either your physical OR your virtual TBR pile (I don’t care how you do this, but it must be random…no “cherry picking” allowed)
    • Assign a number to each book based on how many books you selected (ie: if you selected 14 books, assign each book a number from 1 through 14; if you selected 28 books, assign each book a number from 1 through 28…you get the idea)
    • Go to and use the TRUE RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR located in the upper right hand corner of the page to randomly select the book you will read. NO CHEATING – whatever the random number generator generates is the book you must read!
    • Each time you select a book for the challenge, you will use this procedure. You many select different books each time, choose a different amount of books each time, etc…have fun, mix it up, keep it random.

    I am going in to this at the Level III Challenge.  While reviewing the books is not mandatory in this challenge, I choose to do so and will use the Random Reading Challenge Meme to mark them and number them.


    Guest Blogger/Author Interview with Rachel Stolzman (+ Signed giveaway copies!)

    In recent weeks I have had the pleasure of chatting back and forth with author Rachel Stolzman.  Rachel is the author of the book, The Sign for Drowning.

    Rachel Stolzman

    When Anna is eight years old she witnesses the tragic drowning of her younger sister at the beach.  While her parents frantically search the waves for their child, Anna watches alone from the shore.  Desperate for hope, Anna begins silently communicating with her sister, begging her to resurface.

    Anna’s  family emotionally breaks down in the years following the drowning.  In her grief and loneliness, Anna develops the belief she can communicate to her dead sister through sign language.

    As an adult, Anna makes her living working with hearing impaired children, and she develops a close bond with a deaf foster child she works with, Adrea.  As Anna makes the momentous decision to adopt Adrea, she is driven to face her conflicted desire to hear her daughter speak and she is forced to delve into the connections between Adrea and her own, lost sister.


    rachel-thumbI was born in New York and at the age of seven moved to Los Angeles with my family.  My sister and I told everyone we were moving to a swimming pool.  I began writing poetry in my journal when I was about ten years-old.  My first poems were about children, a phony fortune teller, the question of an afterlife, and an anti-war poem called Warheads.  I attended the University of California in Santa Cruz.  It was during my college years that I began working in the HIV/AIDS field, work which I continue to do to this day.  At UCSC, I took numerous poetry workshops, participated in readings, and I had my first poems published.  Looking back, these poems were about solitude, escapism, and drunken love.  A year after college, living in San Francisco I decided to apply for MFA programs in creative writing.  I was surprised to see that the applications required you to choose between poetry and fiction, and I marked ‘poetry’ on each.  But while completing my applications, I thought- I don’t know how to write fiction, if I’m going to go back to school it might as well be to learn something I don’t know.  I sent for new applications and applied to three programs in New York.  I went to Sarah Lawrence College, and received my MFA in creative writing- Fiction.  An early draft of The Sign for Drowning was my thesis.  In 2008 my first novel, The Sign for Drowning was published by Trumpeter.  I am still writing about children, impermanence, loss and the workings of the heart.  I currently live in Brooklyn and am working on my second novel.

    I want to thank Rachel for taking time to join us here at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books I have really enjoyed talking with you these past couple of weeks and I am excited to hear more about you and your books.

    S:  As I read your biography on line about how you were really writing from about the age of ten, it reminded me of the books of short stories and poetry that I had written at about that age.  Did you feel at such a young age that writing would be a part of your future?

    Rachel: As a kid I had a closet in my bedroom with sliding doors.  One side held clothes, and the other held a bookcase with all my books.  I was infinitely more interested in the book side of my closet.  I read my favorite books over and over.  I do remember thinking that these writers were leaving something in the world that would be here forever, long after the writer was gone.  It only now occurs to me that I was thinking about immortality.  Luckily, I didn’t know then about going out of print!

    S:  Your book, The Sign For Drowning sounds wonderfully deep and dramatic.  I just read the synopsis again and I am so excited to actually get a chance to read and review this book.  How did the idea for this book begin to develop?

    Rachel:  I had written a short story based on an actual event that happened to my family.  When my older sister was two she was washed out of a small boat in the waves, while playing with my father.  She was only underwater for a minute, but they couldn’t see her and it was very scary.  My mother was filming them playing as well.  A friend in the water felt my sister, Dana, brush against her leg and she pulled Dana out.  In the story I wrote, there is an older sister watching and narrating the story, and the child is not recovered, but drowns.  As an MFA student I returned to this story and became curious again about the family, especially, Anna, the sister who tells the story.  I wondered what happened to them afterwards, and if and how this loss would affect Anna as an adult. rachel reading

    S:  This book centers around sign language.  Is this something you knew about before you wrote the book or something you learned to write the book?

    Rachel:  While I was writing the book, I was taking American Sign Language classes for the fun of it.  I had always been interested in sign language and I stuck with it until I was pretty fluent.  I really enjoyed learning from my deaf teachers, not just the language but about deaf culture and history.  I decided to make Anna, in her grief and loneliness, develop a fantasy that she could communicate to her lost sister through sign language.  This childhood fantasy grew into an alternative family and home for her and a career working with deaf children.  And it would ultimately lead Anna to her adopted deaf daughter, Adrea.

    S:  What sort of background prep work did you find yourself doing to write this book?

    Rachel:  I read a lot of books about Deaf culture, and about the history of ASL and deaf education.  After becoming proficient in ASL, I got a job in New York City working with deaf people at Fountain House.  I was around interpreters everyday, a co-worker who was the child of two deaf parents, a deaf co-worker and many deaf members.  I was told amazing stories about being deaf in hearing families and vice-versa, living in deaf boarding schools, surviving during World War II- deaf and alone, and the many ways people learn to communicate and cope.  Those stories helped shape the lives of my characters.

    S:  I just love that you are blogging your journey from your first book signing to the arrival of the paperback version.  How did you decide to do a blog?

    Rachel:  I think I started blogging very hesitantly.  My agent and publisher had recommended I launch an author website, but I had declined to do so just feeling it wasn’t necessary.  Then I took a course on book promotion and it was heavily encouraged there too, especially blogging.  And the final push came when I did an author interview on the radio with Reading with Robin and she actually reprimanded me on the air for not having a website for my readers to go to!

    S:  You are currently working on your second book.  Would you share a little hint about what that is going to be about and when we may expect to see it in print?

    Rachel:  My current book is about a pair of twins born in NYC in the early 70’s.  One twin, David, is born a reincarnated enlightened Buddhist.  The Dalai Lama is a character in the novel, and he becomes David’s teacher.  Jamila, the twin sister, struggles to find her soul, her purpose and her own journey as a bodhisattva’s twin sister.

    I will definitely let you know when you can find it in stores, and thank you so much for having me as a guest at One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books!

    Peace, Rachel

    Rachel’s Official Website

    Rachel’s Blog

    ♥Rachel has generously offered two signed copies of her book, The Sign For Drowning to the readers here at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books.

    To enter your name to win:

    1.  Leave a comment here about Rachel’s interview

    2.  Receive 2 extra chances to win if you blog/twitter about this giveaway

    3.  Earn a BONUS chance by commenting on any other of my posts

    US only and no PO box numbers.  Please be sure to leave me an email so I am able to contact you if you win.

    The Giveaway will end August 16.  Have fun and good luck!

    Friendship Award

    Lets be friends awardReagan at Miss Remmer’s Review gave me the Lets Be friends award tonight!  How sweet is that?  This award if for bloggers who has really extended a hand of friendship by befriending others bloggers, being helpful, and a commenter.

    I shall display it proudly!  Thank you Reagan, if you have not been over to see Miss Remmer’s Review (and even if you have) go back again and again.  her reviews are full of great information and I love that she is striving to find book reviews for Young Adults to encourage reading.  If you have reviewed a great YA book, be sure to connect with her for her Guest Reviews.

    I am pretty tired tonight, but in the next few days I will pass this award on to a few of the bloggers that come to mind that have really been friendly and helpful to me along this crazy journey through books and blogging.  🙂